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Tiefling PCs

Council of Thieves

Hi guys

How have people adapted to players wanting to play Tieflings?

The Players guide suggests multiple options and I was wondering what one people found to be the best.

I am personally very cold on the experience deficit
I'm not convinced the extra starting money makes a significant enough difference given what equipment you can get at level 1.

I am more favourable of the +2 to any stat not already given a +2 by racial modifiers (desirable for the others especially if I choose to set a low point buy)

I am intrigued by the Tiefling trait to depower them. Have people who have used this still allowed the PC to take 2 other traits (as forcing you to use one trait to depower yourself and then only getting one other seems a little harsh)

The book is unclear on whether the depowering is supposed to be an aside (can't think of any reason other than concept as to why someone would voluntarily take this trait, seems like GM interference would be main cause)

Thanks in advance for any thoughts

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Tieflings aren't overpowered. What you are reading is a hold over from 3.5 rules. All the other races in the Pathfinder rules were bumped up to be about as powerful as the 3.5 tiefling was, and the ECL was removed from tiefling.

Is this definitely correct?

Because the Council of Thieves first module is a Pathfinder module and contains a Tiefling chapter.

Was this published after the free players guide?


Council of Thieves was the first AP published under Pathfinder rules if I remember correct. They didn't even have the APG or anything else out.


Use that link to Tieflings. Those are all legal even in Paizo's organized play. They really aren't overpowered. They can make some cool characters but nothing that is game breaking for sure. (Just don't use the chart to add things to the race)

I was more convinced that they were broken before, but I guess that an analysis is making them seem ... just a little less so.

+4/-2 ability scores are pretty typical;
+2 to skills is pretty typical;
A special Vision ability is pretty typical.

Races typically get some defensive ability (Dwarven saves and stability, elven immunities, gnome illusion resistance and defensive training, half-orc ferocity). Tieflings get Cold, Electricity, Fire Resist 5

Races typically get some offensive ability (Dwarven hatred, elven magic, gnome magic and hatred, half-orc ferocity). Tieflings get Darkness.

Half-Elves and Half-Orcs kind of get a little short here. Elven Blood and Orc Blood is as much of a liability as it is a benefit -- although they can qualify for prestige classes or magic items that are race-specific, they count as Humans and Elves or Orcs for the purposes of Favored Enemy (ew). Half-Elves don't really get an offensive ability, and Orcs Ferocity does double-duty as both -- it's somewhat offensive, somewhat defensive, but you really hope it doesn't ever have to kick in.

So far, I think I like the Tieflings abilities better. Cold, Electricity and Fire Resist 5 is, in my opinion, going to kick in a lot more often than a Defensive Training. Granted -- Gnomes' resistance to Illusion is actually really powerful and really useful in some situations. My main criticism of the Tiefling here is that the resistances are great at low level, but they never improve, and so as characters become higher level the resistances will matter a lot less. In fact, the Tiefling may gain energy resistances from other sources, somehow obscuring his uniqueness and the benefit of his race.

It also doesn't hurt that Darkness makes a great supplement to a Tiefling's defensive abilities. You get to hinder your enemies -- you get to protect yourself with miss chance -- you get an opportunity to make stealth checks. But even though this ability is powerful, it also doesn't age well. As your level rises, your enemies start gaining more LLV, more Darkvision, higher Perception scores, and Acrobatics bonuses that prevent them from moving at half-speed in darkness.

I guess in the end, the thing I like the least about Tieflings is the Outsider type. It makes them immune to all sorts of things, beneficial and harmful, that other creatures are not.

Now doing some quick research, they will be immune to effects such as Antilife Shell, Charm Person, Daze, Dominate Person, Enlarge Person(s), Ghoul Touch, Hold Person(s), and Reduce Person(s) from the Core Rulebook alone. Those are some really choice effects. [And, curiously, since a Tiefling is 'not a humanoid', if it is reincarnated it should roll randomly on a table created for 'similar creatures'. Can a Tiefling become a Celestial? Hahah!]

We'll see. My opinion has shifted somewhat. As I consider the relative frequency of each race's advantages coming into effect, and the effect they have, my judgement may drift further. Further comment is welcomed.

Dark Archive

Council of Theives is written with 3.5 rules, where Tiefling were an ECL +1 race. In pathfinder rules, Tiefling are no longer a ECL +1 race. Regardless of if you think the PC races in Pathfinder are on an exact equal power basis or not, they are all start on roughly the same page. Rules for toning down tieflings would not be needed unless you were running the path in strict 3.5 instead of a pathfinder conversion which wouldn't be difficult.

The monsters in it don't have CMB and CMD scores, if you feel the need to double check it.

Sovereign Court

Victor Zajic wrote:
Council of Theives is written with 3.5 rules

Actually Council of Thieves is the first AP written in Pathfinder rules. Are you thinking of Curse of the Crimson Throne (which is written for 3.5)

Victor Zajic wrote:
The monsters in it don't have CMB and CMD scores, if you feel the need to double check it.

I am holding the print copies in my hand and they do indeed have CMB and CMD scores =D


Yea this was the FIRST AP written in Pathfinder rules so its all up to date.

Keep in mind that the 5 resistance A) won't come up as much as you think and B) after level 4 is largely crumby. With a feat they can gain +2 Natural Armor on top of those resisances which I love to take on my Natural Weapon Tieflings.

Also remember that Tieflings can't use spells that require you to be Humanoid (don't feel like rereading and not sure if it was mentioned).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game Subscriber

Lanathar, I believe the Infernal Bastard trait was intended to replace the campaign trait. All of the options were essentially put there to allow a player a method to persuade a GM to allow them to play a Tiefling - they have varying levels of impact.

In my opinion as a GM who is running this AP (almost done Book 5), allowing a player to play a fully powered tiefling is not really that big of an deal. If I were to start this again, the most I would do is the XP debt or the extra cash to the other PC's.

As Ossian says, the energy resistance is not that big of a deal as levels increase.
Similarly, darkness rapidly decreases in significance as you face more foes who overcome or ignore it. And it's just as likely to hinder allies as it is to hinder foes.
So the racial abilities will probably only give a slight advantage at early levels.

And I think that advantage is more than made up for by the roleplaying disadvantage that being a tiefling in Westcrown should bring.

And as the AP goes on, and more and more of the bad guys turn out to be tieflings, that disadvantage should get worse.

Honestly, I would be more concerned with the low level advantage that certain classes or archetypes will get in an AP which was designed prior to their existence (ex Summoner, Alchemist, ... - not claiming they are overpowered, just better early on), and a two-hander Paladin will still blow them all away.

That's been my experience, YMMV.

Thanks for the clarification

Rambler: What particular low level advantages are you refering to from the new archetypes?

I don't know if it is just me but classes like Inquisitor, Magus and to an extent seem like they might struggle at low levels if there are several encounters as they rely on a limited pool of buffs

Have I missed something? Is there anything I should watch out for (eg. I have heard lots about synthesist summoner but not sure what is so potentially broken about it (if anything))

I have been told the following things:
1) The Summoner class description was, as of APG, the largest class description in the game; and probably still is after Ultimate Combat ...
2) I've been told that the Summoners had caused tons of class ability-based rules questions of any of the classes, that there were tons of reports of summoners being 'broken', and most of those occurrences were due to people reading or interpreting the many rules incorrectly;
3) The synthesist summoner has been toted as the #1 character class who could solo an Adventure Path.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If I had a tiefling PC I'd have the Bastards of Erebus offer him membership. I'd make sure he knew about the tieflings who were basically slaves held under Aberian's Folly. I'd also try to play up Westcrown's racism.

The big bad (Eccardian) kind of comes out of nowhere, but if you can plant all these tiefling plot seeds sufficiently solidly then it will seem a lot more logical once everything comes to light.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game Subscriber

I agree with all that Troubleshooter said. Except that I believe that while the Summoner is not as unbalanced as people have said, I feel that the Eidolon often gives them an initial boost.
I'm also not sure that the Synthesist is necessarily as bad as people say, not having seen one in action yet.

I have seen some problems with the ranged archetypes (Crossbowman, Musket Master) but for me it is not so much about specific archetypes being unbalanced as a whole. What I was trying to say is that the way the class features are swapped out sometimes provides them with a boost at certain levels. And that I feel that boost can be bigger than the initial boost the tiefling's racial abilities give.

Further, you should keep in mind that the published material will not take into account any player options from the APG on.... and actually, the writers did not even have a finalized Core Rulebook to work with.

That's why I don't think a bit of energy resistance & darkness (which many many foes ignore) is that big of a deal, especially considering the racism tbug mentions.

My Tiefling player 'joined' the Bastards to scout out where the rank and file thugs slept, get a little information on the group, and end up in position to kill them easily when his ally started setting fire to the other houses.

They don't need the depowering from the trait, dude.

And if I were DM, I'd allow a Tiefling PC in Council of Thieves.

Hell, my DM let me play a Varisian Changeling Sorcerer / Harrower in it.

We didnt have a tiefling in CoT, But I played "hell boy" in Carrion Crown. I was a Demon based tiefling with a big claw hand, I made an inquisitor/gunslinger multiclass (black powder inquisition wasnt out then, but I would have been ALL over that!)

It was a blast and really fit the character concept.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Our CoT party was 4 tieflings (one who looked human) and one human, and this rocked. We spent the whole campaign trying to keep the human-looking one's race a secret so that she could front for the party, since the bias against tieflings was quite apparent.

It was a measure of the PCs' political success when the human-looking one could finally acknowledge her half-siblings as such and not have her political aspirations immediately collapse. Someday maybe she'll get to a place where her own race isn't instant blackmail material, but she's not quite there yet. Especially as she's married to Aberian, who hates tieflings.

You might not want to make tieflings immune to all those spells, especially since one of those spells is successfully used on an NPC tiefling in module 1. But we did make them immune, and that was okay too. They may be a little better than humans but not obtrusively so. (Please don't make them immune to Raise Dead, though. I have been in campaigns where some PCs could be raised and others couldn't--it was standard in 1st ed--and it leads to bad feelings every time.)

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